The Link Between Hiccups and Brain Development in Babies

Hiccups can be irritating even for adults. They appear out of nowhere and don’t stop for long!

Now, imagine being a baby, new to your body and new to your environment; won’t having hiccups be even more confusing and annoying? A baby is too young to know what is happening when they are having hiccups. This may leave them feeling agitated or even make them cry.

Mayo Clinic defines hiccups as involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen. It plays a vital role in helping you breathe.

When we have a bout of hiccups, the diaphragm contracts, and with each contraction, there is a sudden closure of the vocal cords, which produces the characteristic ‘hic’ sound. It is one of the first habits we pick up. In fact, foetuses in the womb hiccup too!

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions associated with hiccups. Some believe that they are harmful to babies, while some believe that it indicates that someone is thinking of you. The former is definitely not true. As for the latter, we’ll leave that one up to you to decide!

Hiccups in Babies

Parents, do not worry if your baby is hiccupping!

Hiccupping is one of the first habits your little one will develop. No one has control over hiccups, especially not babies. However, you must know that hiccupping is normal and is actually an indicator that your baby is growing and developing well. 

Hiccupping plays an important role in your baby’s brain development and respiratory regulation. It is an involuntary reflex and is actually quite common in babies. It is a sign that your baby is healthy and is developing well.

Hiccups and Brain Development

When a baby is born, their body’s circuits that process bodily sensations are not fully developed. The development and establishment of these networks are crucial milestones for newborns.  

Each time a newborn baby hiccups, a large wave of brain signals is triggered. The brain activity resulting from a hiccup helps the baby’s brain to learn how to monitor and eventually control the diaphragm (breathing muscle) so that, eventually, breathing can be voluntarily controlled by moving the diaphragm up and down.

How Gripe Water Can Help With Hiccups in Babies

Although hiccups are a developmental necessity, they can cause discomfort and irritability in babies. Although not harmful, hiccups can be very uncomfortable, especially if they reoccur. Gripe water is one remedy that you can use to curb hiccups.  

Gripe water is a beneficial tonic that can be used to cure a variety of digestive or intestinal issues in babies. It can be given to newborns and toddlers safely, as it has been for decades! Woodward’s Gripe Water contains soothing ingredients like dill seed oil that provides relief to little ones almost instantly! It also helps with colic and gas issues effectively.  

The next time your baby has hiccups, you can be glad that your little one is growing and developing properly. And for those moments of endless crying and discomfort, you can turn to good old Woodward’s Gripe Water for relief! 


This post was last modified on February 3, 2023 1:12 pm

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